Monday, February 29, 2016

Interviewing Stephanie from Wimcee

Hello dear readers!
I have a special treat for you today! I'd love to introduce Stephanie whom I first met on FB. I was immediately captured by the textile artists she promoted on her page and I felt we are on the same wavelength right then and there. Since then I have been religiously following her posts and they come like a magical ointment on a sore day. I am sure she'll do her magic on you too :)

1. Introduce to my readers please? Who is Stephanie?

I am a painter, portraiture in particular, so I've always worked with colour, composition, and pattern. I've found more recently the joy of 'painting' with fabric, yarn and other media, playing with mixes of colours and patterns in 3-dimensional soft sculptures as well as one-of-a-kind wearable pieces. That sounds serious, but really it's more like play! I have had my label, wimcee, for almost 10 years, and exhibit at galleries and retailers as well as selling on-line and occasionally at markets.

2. What do you specialize in making?
I learned to use a sewing machine making aprons, and that's remained my mainstay. The apron is a simple garment which lets me concentrate on embellishment: I enjoy the humorous reference to gender and the retro connotation, but there's also a lot of cultural and tribal symbolism about the apron. I also make handbags and totes, soft furnishings, jewelry, art dolls and clothing.

3. Apron couture being your mainstay, how did you start designing / sewing aprons and what part of the process do you enjoy the most?
My first apron was for a friend who collects aprons and wears them as part of her street wear. I used a pattern from the internet for a very full waisted apron, but as I became a more confident sewer I started modifying patterns and making up my own designs. There's nothing too complicated about the one-size-fits-most apron and I often use gingham as the main fabric so that all the geometrics are built in for lining up pockets and so on. If I'm using a big mix of fabrics I tend to put everything I think might work down on the floor and add or subtract from there - it can be really surprising how different fabrics work together. I'll also add braids and ribbons to the mix although I may not use them all when it comes to putting it all together. When an apron is made I will then often make up some brooches for it using some of the same fabrics, or I'll work up an embroidered felt motif based on a feature design.

4. I am deeply in love with your stunning and unique bags and totes - what fabric and other materials do you usually find suitable to use in your creations?
I love making bags for the same reason that I enjoy aprons - they are a great vehicle for experimentation with colours and patterns and embellishments. I also value so much that they are useful. I use a mix of new and re-purposed fabrics, including vintage kimono silks and crepes, recycled furnishing fabrics and charity shop woollens that I've felted - I've even used favourite garments, incorporating features like button closures into the new design. Where it lends itself to a style I often use crochet, or work a panel of embroidery, to increase the 'specialness' of a piece, and I also have fun with the odd bag charm or brooch too!


5. Where does inspiration come from?
My Facebook page is much more about all the wonderful work being done by others around the world, although I do share my own work as well, and I find the curating activity of choosing what to share from other pages with my own followers extraordinarily inspirational - I usually can't wait to start creating myself. I am also connected with crafters and artists locally, and they're a very supportive sharing community. Creativity thrives on bouncing ideas around and then putting your own stamp and interpretation on your own particular vehicles and vessels.

6. What do you do in your free time?
I really do like to cook, and to catch up with friends and family. I'm not very good at not keeping busy, but our local beaches are a great place to relax.

7. Any other crafts you'd like to try your hand at?
I am in the midst of a second ceramic course with local ceramicist extraordinaire, Clairy Laurence and enjoying that very much, but I would also like to get serious about journaling and mixed media at some stage as well.


8. Is there anything I didn't ask and you'd like to share with us?
I don't think so Maya. It's been a pleasure to chat, and thank-you!

Thank You, Stephanie for sharing this with us!

Visit Stephanie's etsy shop wimcee as well as her Facebook page for more eye candy!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Irresistible Mori Crochet Pattern Pack


I call this The Irresistible Mori Pack.

It consists of my latest 4 rose necklace inspired by the mori lifestyle. Learn more about the pattern pack on Etsy and Little Treasures.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Blue Clay Jewelry


These are some more of the clay beads I made for my projects in a recent workshop.

The first photo is of my newest necklace. I had an idea of adding the beads to silk ties, but somehow ended with an ordinary metal chain, although it is possible that it gets transformed again. The beauty of designing your own pieces is that you can alter them after a time when they get boring or are no longer attractive.

The other two are brooches. The diamond shaped one is going to get an additional layer of purple sequins because I feel it lacks something.

This is what they looked like before:

Monday, February 22, 2016

Yumiko Higuchi - Embroidery Artist

Happy Monday everyone!
I wanted to start the blog week on a positive note (don't I ever?) with something beautiful and inspiring and for today I chose to introduce Yumiko Higuchi who is an embroidery artist.

I follow her across social media and first fell in love with her work when I saw her embroidered purses! One must simply be bedazzled by her work at a first glance. 

If you are interested to learn more about her work or even buy one of her books, explore her world here.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Inheritance Project - Amy Meissner

The minute I read about the Inheritance Project I knew I was hooked. The name itself had that alluring quality  I couldn't resist. It think it is on Facebook I read about it first - some weeks ago and the post being accompanied with doilies, I knew I didn't have the strength to move and click on. And, boy am I glad I read it through!

So who is Amy and what is the project about?
Amy Meissner is an extraordinary textile artist and she is the creator of the Inheritance project whose ultimate goal is to have "an installation of up to 1.000 of textile projects - vintage embroidered domestic linens and old crocheted hot pads that will also represent a collection of the language that accompanies them, the makers, the origins, the details to give these unwanted items the voices they deserve." Check the Inheritance project Mystery Boxes here


Besides being a stunning textile artist, she is also an astonishing wordsmith! She is having a bewitching writing style and amazing stories to tell. You'll never regret paying her a visit! Read her stories here.

*** All images used here are sole property of Amy Meissner***

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Making Vintage Jewelry

My favourite escape from crochet is to indulge in a craft project - usually making jewelry and accessories involving beads or fabric. This time I chose to play with some lovely beads I've had for some time.

Make vintage jewelry
 The inspiration for both necklaces are the 1920s / 1930s which, when it comes to jewelry, is my all time favourite period.

I am going to start  a long -term series here on the blog called "Make Jewelry" where we (that's me and Eva and all of you) will make all sorts of jewelry, explore and share ideas, try out techniques and methods and generally have loads of fun and be fashionable :)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy St.Valentine's Day

Let there be love and peace for all!
It is a special day in our household, because it's our daughter's birthday today. Eva is 15!
In my country we also celebrate St. Trifun's Day - St. Trifun is the saint of vines and vine growers and on this day the vines are pruned.
So love and wine... is there anything more one could ask for on this day?
I wish you all a fantastic day wherever you are!!!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Valentine Sweets Ideas

Hello, hello....
I didn't mean to be absent this week, but life happened and sometimes it is easier to let it lead....
However, I am back here today to share some ideas for making a sweet and tasty Valentine.
I am sharing my Valentine chocolates here for which I used chocolate box trays - sometimes they come in lovely shapes (the darkest brown is shell shaped for example) and step up if you don't have or cannot find the wanted cookie molds. I melted our favourite milk chocolate and just filled these babies and let it cool.

I will have to make another batch of these because my son didn't realize I have had these made for a post and he and his friends generously helped themselves and ate more than half of these. It was quite a "horrific" sight for me... Luckily enough were left so that I can take this picture.
I sprinkled them with crushed peppermint.

Some other ideas it would be great to try:

Monday, February 8, 2016

Valentine's Necklace - free tutorial

Happy Monday and Welcome to the second project dedicated to Valentine's Day.
Today I'll show you how to make this cute necklace.
Gather your supplies:
* Decorative twisted cord
* Long strip of lace (with big holes on the upper edge)
* Crochet (or other) flower
* Beads (optional and maker's preference)
First insert the cord through the holes and gather the lace in the middle.
Use any crochet (cotton / other) flower you like.
The pattern for this flower goes like this:
Ch 5 and join to make a ring.
Rnd.1: In the ring, ch 6 (3 as the 1st dc + 3 for the chain), "dc1, ch3". Repeat "this" 4 times more. Sl st with beginning chain to end round.
Rnd.2: In the first chain space, make 1sc, 1hdc, 1 dc, 1hdc, 1sc. Repeat this pattern for all chain spaces.
Rnd.3: ch4, make a BCsc (between petals) all around.
Rnd.4: In the first chain space, make 1sc, 1hdc, 3 dc, 1hdc, 1sc. Repeat this pattern for all chain spaces. End with a sl st into the 1st petal of the round.

Cut pieces of lace and pick the edges to get a shabby look. Put them in the center and sew beads over them.
Sew flower on the side and your necklace is done!

The first project of the mini series was the Valentine lariat.